Remember the time a Russian artist turned famous celebrities into cute cartoon characters (1, 2, and 3)? We love to scroll through such talented artists' vivid artwork, and Lera Kiryakova never disappoints. In her recent project “Beauty of the World,” Kiryakova digitally illustrated 10 girls from various corners of the world in her own style.
Our world is so beautifully different. Unique appearances, cultures, and traditions are what make it so rich and exciting to live in and learn from. Packed with details such as national animals, food, outfits, or makeup, these adorable cartoon-like characters resemble people from particular countries and regions. Forget Miss World competitions, because this is what we actually need.
Bored Panda spoke with the artist about the work, so don’t miss the interview below! What would the girl representing your country look like? Share your thoughts in the comments!
We asked Lera Kiryakova about the idea behind this lovely project: “I wanted to show different faces and characters. We are all so different—it's amazing and wonderful! It was interesting to draw, but it was as interesting to study nations, their costumes, and features. I portrayed countries and people through cute girls because this is close to me and my art style. This project has become very special to me.”
Each girl is portrayed in traditional apparel holding a small animal to add extra cuteness.
“The first idea was to draw every girl with a national animal. But some traditional animals were too big for the composition, so I decided to change them. For example, I didn’t draw the Indian girl with an elephant and went with a snake instead. It doesn’t mean that the snake is a traditional animal, but it helps to bring out more history and spirit of the character.”
The artist admits that she did quite a lot of research to make her illustrations as authentic as possible.
“I always use many references to learn more about costumes and different details. I also use them for characters’ poses. I often use my own photo for that. Sometimes it’s funny, especially to take a photo of myself with different facial expressions.”
Native American Girl
“I always start with an idea, then find references for poses, clothes, sometimes faces. Next, I do a fast sketch with a simple pencil on paper or directly in Photoshop. And then I work with colors. I always use my graphic tablet and Photoshop or an iPad. My favorite part is adding details and drawing hair.”
This artist doesn’t have to look far for inspiration, because “there's a lot of inspiration everywhere.”
“I adore watching cartoon movies like Disney and Pixar and I dream of learning to create such beautiful and interesting characters. I like reading books, listening to music, I'm also inspired by other artists and illustrators.”
Lera Kiryakova says she likes the girl that represents Mexico the most.
“She has my favorite color palette. And, of course, it’s because of the traditional Catrina makeup. I imagine Mexico as a bright and festive country and although I have never been there, I really enjoyed drawing this one.”
Which one is your favorite?